On Europe 1 Thursday, Damien Gatinel, ophthalmic surgeon and head of service at the Rothschild Foundation hospital, explained how Covid-19 can seep into our bodies through the eyes. He reminds us that you should avoid touching your eyes and even adapt your lens placement in this context of health crisis. 


Covid-19 can also be transmitted through the eyes. This was explained Thursday on Europe 1 Damien Gatinel, ophthalmic surgeon and head of service at the hospital of the Rothschild Foundation. He also detailed the precautions to be taken to avoid catching the virus through the eye.

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"There is strong suspicion as to the possibility of contamination by the conjunctival route, in particular in the event of projections of droplets on the conjunctiva [the membrane which covers the white of the eye]", explains Damien Gatinel. How is it possible that the virus enters our body through this? Because the conjunctiva correspond with the nose "by the lacrmonasal channel", answers the doctor.


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"One can very well imagine that the virus hooks on receptors on the ocular surface or migrates through the path of tears in the nasal cavities and that the infection begins at this level," says Damien Gatinel. 

Do not rub your eyes 

To avoid knowing such a scenario, compliance with barrier gestures is strongly recommended by the specialist. "The precautions are to avoid touching your face" and in particular "the mouth, the nose but also the eyes," says the surgeon. Certain gestures that may seem harmless can actually be vectors of the Covid-19. "In the current context, it is even less necessary to rub your eyes than usual because if you have the virus on your hands and you touch your eyes, you will potentially become infected," says Damien Gatinel. 

>> Find the whole of Sans rendez-vous in replay and podcast here

Prefer disposable lenses 

But for some, like lens wearers, touching their eyes is inevitable. The ophthalmic surgeon therefore advises "to avoid wearing lenses temporarily if you are not sure of ensuring perfect hygiene". If you can't part with it, Damien Gatinel recommends "washing your hands well, handling your lenses without touching anything else before putting them on the eye." Disposable lenses "are also preferable, according to him.